The Social Serendipitous Experience

by Jay Deragon on 10/25/2012

Propagating random thoughts with a crowd of random people is a lot like Black Jack. Sometimes you win and most of the time you lose.

Many are chasing “social” ideas, plans and business models. Hundreds of Venture capital Firms are investing billions o dollars into small companies with BIG ideas hoping to find that one winning hand that pay out big time.  Everyone would like to be able to build a mathematical model the picks winning stocks from the the losers, the next big idea or have proof their business plans will create more than expected. There is no such mathematical model rather success is largely a game of numbers and mostly serendipitous.

Frans Johansson – Harvard Business Review writes: Roughly nine months into Google’s existence, Sergei Brin and Larry Page realized they needed to choose between their company and their PhD work at Stanford. They decided to pursue their doctorates, and offered their search engine to Yahoo for $1 million. Yahoo declined (as did others). Lucky thing, that. And in 2004 Paolo Pellegrini, a VP at the investment bank Lazard Freres, was fired — then took on a low-level position at a hedge fund after a lucky phone call. The desperate-to-prove-himself banker found a chart that showed how the housing market was overpriced. His boss, John Paulson, bet large and made $15 billion in a year. “I love that chart,” Paulson would keep saying — but has proved unable to find more of them.

We like to think that success comes from predicting trends, analyzing data, gaming out strategies — from using some sort of logical approach. But if it was that simple we should have solved the mystery of success long time ago — and we haven’t. Instead serendipity is what sets us apart — since that is the only way we can discover an approach that is not obvious or logical. via When Success is Born Out of Serendipity – Frans Johansson – Harvard Business Review.

Serendipity isn’t something you create or force to happen. Rather it is simply following your instincts and engaging with the right people at the right time. It can’t be planned or analyzed. It simply requires trusting in your self and insuring your motivations are in line with the search for the right answers or the right people.

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